“How could so-and-so be a Christian? She’s in jail for drugs!”
Have you ever heard something like this? I have. Sadly, several times. Have you heard this one: “He’s so nice, he must be a Christian.” Again, I’ve heard that one too. Both statements are based on the same false assumption; Christians must do good deeds.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying to stop doing good things; I’m saying our actions don’t define our salvation. Scripture is very clear on this.
We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
I think Paul is very clear here. We cannot be justified through obeying the law. We can’t be justified by doing good deeds. That last part of the verse is interesting: ‘Christ died for nothing.”
When we try to earn our salvation, we’re rejecting what Jesus did on the cross. We’re saying His sacrifice wasn’t good enough; we still need to live a good life. We’re rejecting His grace and His gift; it’s not enough. We’re, in short, saying, “thanks, but no thanks.”
Let’s not trade the precious gift of grace for man’s fumble attempts of trying to be good.